Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Single Mother Card

Being a single mom must be tough. I know I depend on Hubby to help out a lot, whether I'm sick or tired (or just plain sick 'n' tired). I'm grateful I'm not a single mom -- every time Hubby gets home and revives me from a tough day dealing with the kids all by myself. God knows I could do it by myself if I had to, and I thank God I don't have to. I give single moms a lot of credit, for working so many hours in an office and then making it home to raise their kids all by themselves (with a little help from a day care provider or a family member).

But I think I deserve a lot of credit for not being a single mom, too. I waited until I was married and ready to have kids, before any of them were born. I chose a good guy, one that would be a great father and would stick around, so that we could raise these kids together. I insured myself with my good choices that I would never be a single mother, and that my kids would have two parents that they could always count on.

So here is what's bugging me. It seems like lately every time a contestant on a game show starts talking about how they got so strong, so smart, so dedicated, they start talking about their moms. Great, huh? Of course! But what I'm tired of hearing is the "And she was a single mother" tag. Like it doesn't matter if Mom survived cancer, worked in the military, worked her @$$ off to feed you and take care of you... it doesn't matter that much until you add at the end, "And she was a single mother." Suddenly I hear angels singing and harps playing. Let's elect that mama for sainthood!

It usually goes like this: between tears, a contestant laments that his dear old mom worked so hard to bring her kids up out of the ghetto, or the slums, or the trailer park... raising 6 kids on a minimum wage job... and (wait for it... wait for it...) she was A SINGLE MOTHER! Now how does that make her a more dedicated, more hardworking, a better mom than me?! Just because I made choices that took me in an easier direction, I'm not as worthy of such high praise?

Imagine Volcano, thanking me as an adult for motivating him, saying, "Yeah, my mom took me to school in her minivan, volunteered at every bake sale, helped me with my homework, cheered me on at soccer games. She had me when she was 29. We lived in the suburbs of Oregon, just me, my mom, and my sister... oh, yeah... and my dad." BOR-RING! How could that have possibly shaped anyone's life? Where's the motivation in two caring parents that are actually involved in your life? That would never make it to air.

I know things happen. Spouses die, parents divorce, women get pregnant out of wedlock. These women do the right thing and step up to the plate, working hard to raise their kids on their own. They have my full and utmost respect. I'm just tired of the Single Mother Card being tossed around like an instant prize for Mom of the Century. It seems to mean that single moms guarantee harder-working kids, kids that will grow up to instantly win American Gladiators or Deal or No Deal. But kids of married moms have the same chance, and they shouldn't be overlooked -- that's all I'm saying.

Let's hear it for the Married Moms!

12 comments:

Life As I Know It said...

I think being a mom in any circumstance is challenging. Married or unmarried or widowed or whatever.
I'm married to an incredible husband and father, and hopefully my kids will realize how lucky they are. We worked hard to make the family we have. You're right, that shouldn't be overlooked either.

emma said...

I totally see your point and I've noticed that, too...It feels like they've redone more houses on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" for single moms. I think a lot of married couples out there could also use a completely new house!

kristi said...

Yes, I have heard this a lot! "I need you to help me out, I am a single mom." But most of the single moms I know have been able to get more help because of that fact too! They get help with education, housing, food, etc....not ALL but some of the women I have personally met. Their kids wear better clothes than mine do!

Lanxi said...

Oh, you are so gonna make some people mad with this. I love it.
And being married doesn't mean you automatically get a free pass on finances, emotions, jobs, etc. Thanks for keeping it real pixie.

The Roaming Southerner said...

I see your point, understand it well, and really think you said it properly.

amanda said...

i never really thought of it like that. but i like it. well said friend.

happy POW-wow friday :)

McMommy said...

I like what Life As I Know it said...being a mom in any circumstance is CHALLENGING! Isn't that the truth??

Thanks for playing POW! with me!

Leigh said...

Here, here! Happy POW!

McMommy said...

Meant to tell you...I have alot of friends who got "Executive Mother" when they took the quiz! I think I'm meant to be friends with executive moms so they can teach me the wisdom of their ways!

Dana said...

I love, love, love it! Well said!

Anonymous said...

I think you forget that there are numerous reasons for single parenthood...it isn't just about meeting the wrong man.

pixie said...

I didn't forget. I mentioned that you can become a single mother through several circumstances. And I never said being a single parent was easy or that they shouldn't be respected. I said that as a married mother, I deserve the same respect. All parents deserve the equal respect.